We head to the Big Easy tonight on “So You Think You Can Dance” after last night’s flashing excitement, and New Orleans doesn’t disappoint, ya heard? (Unless you were expecting another flasher, that is.) I was particularly excited to see a couple styles new to the show. Nigel is off getting an honorary doctorate (in very fancy robes), so instead we’re joined by Adam Shankman and Lil’ C.
Shelby “Skip” Skipper/20/New Orleans Bounce – This style is basically the hip hop version of Riverdance in that while the legs are going crazy, the torso is mostly just providing backup support. There’s also much shaking of the torso, though, when the legs take a break. I’m exhausted just watching it. The judges all confess to being completely unfamiliar with the style, but they’re really digging it and appreciate Skip’s bringing it to their attention. I’m actually surprised by the Vegas ticket, though – I definitely thought he was a choreography candidate since that’s the route they often go with non-contemporary dancers.
Jonathan Litzler/18/Contemporary – Jonathan is a crazy good tumbler, but it doesn’t take away from his dancing at all. And honestly, this seems like one of those auditions that would be better to see in person. Adam actually calls it one of the best auditions he’s ever seen. Lil’ C is back to himself after taking the night off yesterday, calling Jonathan “a perfect blend of weight, energy, space, and time.” …So there you have it.
Justin Kenney/23/Breakdance – Justin survived a serious car accident, but we don’t need the sob story: his dancing speaks for itself. In fact, I can barely describe it! He does some amazing moves where he’s upside down on his hands pushing off into the air and spinning (“air flares”), and he’s off to the choreography round, where he unfortunately struggles. But they “take a huge, huge gamble” on him, and send him on to Vegas.
Kimalee Piedad/25/Ice Dancing With No Ice (“Theater Arts”) – Okay, seriously, these lifts are bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. She and her partner are incredibly strong, holding very challenging positions with no sign of strain at all. It’s extraordinary, and I’d love to see what they could do with a SYTYCD waltz (and what she could do on her own). I’m loving the new styles tonight!
Jakob Karr/18/Contemporary – You know, Jakob just looks like he belongs on the show. He’s expressive, he’s got great lines, a couple interesting tricks but not enough to distract from the dancing, and more strength than you’d expect from someone his size. The judges think he’s phenomenal. Yay!
Diana Drexler/29/Contemporary – Her grandfather passed away the previous day, while she was away to audition. She does a great job, even without considering the mitigating factors. It’s beautiful. Way to represent for folks in their late 20’s! The judges are impressed both by her dancing and her strength, and they put her through to choreography and Vegas. It’s not even based on pity, either!
Eric La Blanc/25/Hip hop – Well…he’s an entertainer. And a great cautionary tale about Red Bull overconsumption. So…yeah. That audition happened. And it made him dizzy. And it somehow got him through to choreography. You know, it’s all well and good putting someone through because you think it’ll be funny to watch, but that really sucks for his partner.
Micah Mixon/24/Hip hop – Let’s summarize: tough childhood -> rebellion -> dancing -> spiritual awakening. Got it? Okay, on to the dancing. He’s got potential, but it’s a bit too jerky for my tastes, and I think he’s a little sloppy and could be hitting harder (aside from the chest – I agree with Lil’ C on that one). I just wasn’t blown away. As Mary points out, his gliding was strong – why not do more of that? I’m no expert, though, and the judges were blown away and send him to choreography, where he crashes and burns. I hate to say I told you so, but…
Cheers and Jeers:
Cheers to the brass band entertaining the waiting contestants. Cheers to “Mary’s Rules of What Not to Do Starring Adam Shankman”: no hat over your eyes, no reaching out to nowhere, no rubbing your body, and no men’s booty shaking! Agreed on all counts. Jeers to the lack of Nigel. I know not everyone agrees with me, but I really think his comments can be instructive and illuminating. Well, at least some of the time…you know, when he’s not ogling the ladies.
What did you think of the new styles we saw tonight? Would you like to see them featured on the show? Any favorites for the Top 20 out of this bunch?